Raising a Secure Child: How Circle of Security Parenting Can Help You Nurture Your Child’s Attachment
If you are looking for a practical, wise, science-based, and accessible guide to creating the kind of attachment your child needs to optimize development, you’ve come to the right place! Kent Hoffman, Glen Cooper, and Bert Powell are highly gifted and experienced clinicians whose Circle of Security approach has been proven in research to be a practical and effective way to help parents nurture their children well. I first met these three masters of human relationships years ago and was immediately impressed with their sensitivity, kindness, and humanity. As they worked to develop their Circle of Security approach, they continually based their creative endeavors on the scientific studies of attachment—how children connect with their caregivers—to be sure their foundations were solidly established. Then they went further and tested their model to see if it worked, not only for their own programs but also for those who had learned to use it around the world. Building on the newest findings of neuroscience, this approach can offer you the latest and best on how to raise your children.
Attachment refers to how we as mammals rely on our caregivers for nurturance as we grow toward maturity. A selective few attachment figures will naturally shape our growth by the ways in which they communicate with us from our earliest days. Attachment research has shown that those children who are fortunate to develop what is called “secure” attachment are most likely to grow into caring, thoughtful, reflective, emotionally and socially intelligent, resilient individuals who thrive
If this is what you are looking for in your child’s future, the Circle of Security approach to parenting will show you how to optimize growth toward these life-affirming traits. You may be wondering, however, why anyone would need to read a book about something that is so natural. Why doesn’t everyone just have secure attachments? Research has shown that many factors influence how we parent our children and that offering ways for children to be seen, soothed, safe, and secure provides a gateway to their well-being. But many things can get in the way. One of those factors is our own childhood experiences. Yet the research is robust and clear: It isn’t what happened to us in our childhood by itself that is the crucial factor in predicting how our children will become attached to us, but rather the way we’ve made sense of how our childhood experiences have influenced us. Careful studies on over 10,000 individuals have shown that how we’ve been able to reflect on those things that were not so good and make sense of how they impacted our development and affect our current parenting is what matters most (see my book The Developing Mind  for a summary of these findings). And even if our attachments to our own parents and other caregivers were secure, any of us can benefit from deepening our awareness of how we provide nurturance for our children. There is always room for learning and growth! The great news is that it is never too late to make sense of your life and learn to enhance your connections with those you love.
As you learn about how to reflect on your relationship with your child now, you’ll see more clearly that how you communicate with your child can create, as our wonderful authors suggest, a way to “Be-With” your child in deeply rewarding ways. You’ll be given the opportunity in the course of these magnificent pages to make sense, for example, of how “shark music” (a brilliantly evocative name these authors have given to the echoes of our own childhood attachments) can arise from implicit forms of memory. We all have a storehouse of emotions, images, bodily sensations, and beliefs we may not even feel are coming from the past that may be directly limiting our ability to connect with our child in these important and learnable ways that support the cultivation of secure attachment. We usually don’t even know that shark music is interfering with how we connect with our children. This book will show you how to approach such experiences and free yourself from how they may be hindering your parenting.
Relationships are never perfect. If you have perfectionism in your strategy, you can actually start creating tension in your parenting by being too hard on yourself. This is a book filled with practical suggestions for how to be kinder with yourself and in turn model a receptive approach for your child. The great news from attachment research is that we can set a certain intention and make healing repairs when we experience the inevitable ruptures in those attuned, contingent connections. This book will show you how to identify and heal such ruptures through the powerful examples and clear descriptions of this important process of repair.
As I was reading these words of wisdom, I was impressed again and again with the exquisite sensitivity, clarity, and outright brilliance of these humble and dedicated guides. What a gift Raising a Secure Child is for us, for our children, and for the world. Thank you, Kent, Glen, Bert, and your associate, Christine Benton, for composing such a masterpiece. And thank you for having the insight, courage, and love to take in these pages and bring security into your child’s life. Enjoy the journey ahead!
Daniel J. Siegel, MD
author of The Developing Mind, Brainstorm, Mindsight,
and Mind; coauthor of Parenting from the Inside Out,
The Whole-Brain Child, and No-Drama Discipline
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|May 3, 2021|
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